How Do Indians Use Microgreens in Cooking? (Solved!)

Microgreens can be added to almost any dish from soups, stews, curries, salads or even as a garnish. How Indians use microgreens in cooking will depend on the flavor needed and the texture wanted for the particular dish being prepared.

Most novice chefs can overlook the power of using microgreens. With the rise in popularity of growing or buying microgreens, Indian cooks may start to ask, “How do Indians use microgreens in cooking?”

This article will explain what microgreens are and the best uses of microgreens in Indian cooking. Tips are also shared on types of microgreens and their different flavor profiles whcih will help you make these nutritious powerhouses part of your cuisines.

What are microgreens?

Microgreens are the young adult stage of a variety of edible, aromatic plants, specifically their leaves and stems. Even though they are small (approximately 1-3 inches tall), they are very high in nutrients and minerals and offer a bright green addition to any dish.

Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, they are a good addition to any type of diet.

Not to be confused with sprouts, the infant stage of plants, microgreens are harvested when leaves just begin to appear, around days 7-21 of growth.

What do microgreens taste like?

With over 100 types of microgreens, the flavor profiles have a wide range. A few of the flavors that are common across microgreens are: 

  • Spicy or peppery
  • Sweet
  • Nutty
  • Mild or earthy
  • Herbaceous

With all of this, microgreens have so many uses! It’s up to you to decide what flavors you want to add to your Indian cooking.

Can you use microgreens in raita?

Raita is very common Indian dish and it’s an easy place to starting adding microgreens. You can chop your greens or add them whole. Adding microgreens to your raita will offer a crunchy tecture and a bit of a presentation boost.

How do you use microgreens in roti?

All Indians are familiar with roti. It is an Indian staple for many people. To get a nutrient-dense roti bread, simply add chopped microgreens to your dough while rolling it out. 

Can you boil microgreens in rice?

Rice is another staple of the Indian diet and it is no exception when it comes to places you can add microgreens. Again, a finely chopped microgreen can be added to rice as it is boiling to give a pop of green and a punch of minerals to rice.

How do you use microgreens as a garnish?

Roasted meats are a delicious entree for many Indian homes. Outside of the normal herbs used on meats, microgreens are often added fresh and whole to meat dishes to provide additional texture and a beautiful garnish.

Can you use microgreens in soups?

Adding microgreens to something simple like tomato soup can elevate the dish to the next level. A spicy microgreen, like mustard, would be a perfect pairing for the acidity of a tomato-based soup. They can be added fresh and whole, as a topping, or sauteed at the beginning of the soup with onion and garlic.

Can you use microgreens in dal?

Adding microgreens to dal is another simple way to incorporate them into your diet. Adding them towards the end of the dal cooking process will maintain the nutrition content best. You don’t want to overcook greens, as they will lose their flavor and texture over time.

What types of microgreens are there?

Microgreens are produced from seeds and there are literally so many to choose from. Below are some of the most common types of microgreens you can use in Indian dishes:

  • Lentils and pulses: rajma, lobia, chickpea, moong.
  • Spices: fenugreek, methi, black mustard.
  • Grains and wheat: wheatgrass
  • Herbs: coriander and cilantro 
  • Brassica: cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, watercress, radish, arugula
  • Asteraceae: lettuce, endive, chicory, radicchio
  • Apiaceae: dill, carrot, fennel, celery
  • Amaryllidaceae: garlic, onion, leek
  • Amaranthaceae: amaranth, quinoa swiss chard, beet, spinach
  • Cucurbitaceae: melon, cucumber and squash

As you can see, there are a number of different seeds and types of microgreens that can be used in cooking. Depending on the purpose and flavor profile you’re seeking, you’ve got a lot to choose from!

Can you grow microgreens at home?

It’s super easy to grow microgreens at home. They will happily grow indoors, outdoors, in greenhouses and even on your window sills. Household areas like the kitchen, patio, deck, or sunny spots are ideal for growing microgreens at home.

What materials do I need to grow microgreens at home?

Only a few things are needed to grow microgreens at home. They are: 

  • Plastic containers
  • Soil or growing medium
  • Seeds (opt for organic)

How do you grow microgreens at home?

Drilling or poking hold in the bottom of the tray will ensure proper drainage, so do that first. Add your soil and distribute it evenly. Remove any stones and break up existing clumps so that the soil is uniform across the tray.

Next, scatter some seeds evenly across your soil, cover the seeds with a little more soil and water them well! 

You’ll want to cover the tray after watering to capture moisture. Seeds like to stay wet so water them once or twice a day to start. A cover will also encourage your microgreens to grow to the perfect length (around 3-4cm).

An important thing to be mindful of is placement of your trays. Direct sunlight will be too hot for seeds, so make sure they are in a sunny area but not in direct sun. Once your seeds sprout, they can then be placed in direct sunlight.

In Conclusion

While we know that microgreens are full of good, healthy things for our bodies, the best thing about microgreens is their versatility; sauteed, fried, boiled, or fresh, there are a million ways to add them to Indian cooking. 

So the next time you find yourself asking, “How do Indians use microgreens in cooking?”, remember that the sky’s the limit! Pretty much anywhere you would find an herb or other type of green, you can replace or add with microgreens to increase the nutritional value of any meal.